WI vs SL, 2nd Test – Day 1, Review: Kraigg Brathwaite and Rahkeem Cornwall keep Sri Lanka at bay on a fighting day
Sri Lanka dropped Brathwaite early in the day and he made them pay with an unbeaten 99.
Updated - Mar 30, 2021 11:06 am
The second and final Test of the two-match series between Sri Lanka and the West Indies on Monday. The visiting skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and opted to bowl first to make use of the moisture in the surface. Interestingly, the West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was happy to bat first, and both the teams fought well on an attritional day as the hosts reached 287/7 at stumps.
Having opted to bowl, Sri Lanka needed early breakthroughs and their experienced pacer Suranga Lakmal delivered for them. He kept bowling the nagging line and length with the new ball to finally find the edge of John Campbell’s bat. Nkrumah Bonner then played one onto his stumps to get out for a duck off the same bowler. Brathwaite, meanwhile, was playing cautiously only scoring off any bad balls on offer.
Kyle Mayers joined him and played a sort of counter-attacking innings. The scoreboard started moving at a brisk pace with the 71-run stand for the third wicket between them. Just when things started to look cozy for West Indies, Sri Lanka hit back with Vishwa Fernando dismissing Mayers for 49.
Wickets continue to fall but Brathwaite stands strong
Jermaine Blackwood then came out all guns blazing before edging one off Lakmal for 18. It was a disappointing show from the experienced player as the Caribbeans needed a partnership to get things going for them. Jason Holder looked fluent during his stay in the middle as he stitched 51 runs for the fifth wicket with his skipper. In the meantime, Brathwaite also got to his half-century having been reprieved once in the post-lunch session.
Joshua Da Silva’s painful stay of 35 balls for a solitary run was ended by Dushmantha Chameera and West Indies were suddenly in trouble at 186/6. But Alzarri Joseph then showed his mettle with the bat even as Brathwaite held on to one end superbly playing some delightful strokes. Once that partnership was broken, Sri Lanka would’ve thought of wrapping things up early.
But they were yet to go past Rahkeem Cornwall who once again stood tall with the bat to accompany his skipper. He and Brathwaite played out 18 overs till stumps and also added 65 runs for the eighth wicket to stage some sort of a comeback. The Caribbean skipper tried his best to get to the three-figure mark but will now be having a nervous sleep as he remained unbeaten on 99 off 239 balls with 11 fours.
West Indies ended the day on 287/7 courtesy of a counter-attacking knock from Cornwall who stayed not-out on 43 off just 54 balls with six fours and a six. It will be an intriguing first session on the second day as both teams will look to have an early advantage.
West Indies – 287/7 after 86 overs (K Brathwaite 99*, K Mayers 49; S Lakmal 3/71)